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Student Documents the Artwork of a Lifetime

Co-op Scholar Records Sculptor Mico Kaufman’s Long Body of Work

UMass Lowell Image
Co-op scholar Jennifer Lomonte documented Mico Kaufman's work over summer break. Lomonte with Kaufman's "Homage to Women."

By Julia Gavin

During his lengthy career, Mico Kaufman has created art from presidential coins to large war memorials, covering thousands of subjects. A Romanian artist whose work is internationally renowned, Kaufman is an octogenarian still working in his Tewksbury studio. With such a range and quantity of artwork, cataloging his many years of productivity could be daunting for any professional archivist. Co-op scholar Jennifer Lomonte spent her summer break learning how to start the process.

“I learned more than I could ever have expected. Of course I learned how to take an inventory and write a methodology, but also a world of things from Mr. Kaufman and his work,” says Lomonte, who worked with Kaufman at his studio to photograph and record the art. “Now I not only know the history behind his work, but also about the many techniques that an artist can use to create masterpieces. I've learned a lot about Mr. Kaufman's fields of sculpture and am very thankful to have had the opportunity.”

Lomonte, an exercise physiology major, chose to step out of her major studies when the co-op opportunity came up. A longtime art lover and photographer, Lomonte knew working with Kaufrman would be invaluable, and is considering adding an art history minor. The opportunity was also important for Kaufman and the many admirers of his work, present and future, says her adviser, Paul Marion.

"Jennifer's project was a significant contribution to the legacy of Mr. Kaufman," says Marion, executive director of community relations. "The documentation of his body of creative work demonstrates Kaufman’s enormous achievement as an artist. To see the depth and breadth of the artwork is to appreciate what he has accomplished, and continues to accomplish, in his studio."

Kaufman’s connection to Lowell and the University has been strong for many years. Several of his pieces are part of the city’s public art collection and his sculpture of Claude Debussy sits in front of Durgin Hall. Kaufman also received an honorary degree from the University in 2011 and was the first artist to sculpt with plastic extruded by the school’s equipment in a collaborative art and science project. See more of Kaufman’s work on his website